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Google escapes antitrust suit as FTC ends its investigation into alleged ‘patent abuse’

Published Jan 3rd, 2013 1:51PM EST

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Good news for Google (GOOG): It will at least avoid an antitrust lawsuit in the United States. The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday formally concluded its investigation into whether Google allegedly abused the patents that it acquired in the Motorola deal to block rival products over technologies that have become industry standards. Google did have to make some key concessions to end the investigation, including giving its competitors access to its FRAND patents, giving “online advertisers more flexibility to simultaneously manage ad campaigns on Google’s AdWords platform and on rival ad platforms,” and refraining “from misappropriating online content from so-called ‘vertical’ websites that focus on specific categories such as shopping or travel for use in its own vertical offerings.” Ending the investigation with only offering voluntary concessions represents a major victory for a company that earlier this year seemed to be headed for an antitrust lawsuit much like the one filed against Microsoft (MSFT) back in 1998.

Brad Reed
Brad Reed Staff Writer

Brad Reed has written about technology for over eight years at and Network World. Prior to that, he wrote freelance stories for political publications such as AlterNet and the American Prospect. He has a Master's Degree in Business and Economics Journalism from Boston University.